First of all, here my disclaimer; I am a senior who has witnessed more American presidential elections than I care to remember. Therefore after all these years I think I have some understanding as just how American political games work. So here is my question. WHY IN THE HELL DID OBAMA BRING UP BIRTH CONTROL when he is going into a tough general election? I mean WTF??  Yes there is a sizeable liberal minority who has rallied to the cause and are showing their support for the President on this issue. However most of these folks don’t live and vote in many of the blue collar regions where large populations attend Mass every week.
Don’t get me wrong, Obama is correct in making this part of the new National Health Care regulations, but NOW is not the time to bring this highly controversial topic up for national discussion. It is sort of like the need to pass some strong built-up flatulence. There is a time and place for it, such as in the privacy of the bathroom or out in a large open windy area like a public park.  Likewise there are many places where one should not relieve the pressure of one’s gas pains, such as around the dinner table with guests present, or in a pew in a packed church.
Please continue with me in the discussion below.
IMO Barack Obama needs a little schooling concerning the real political power structures in this country. You may recall at the start of Obama’s term he stepped into a local tiff between a City of Cambridge police sergeant and Harvard professor Skip Gates. Obama attempted to intercede publically on behalf of his friend Skip Gates. In the ensuing dust-up that followed, he was challenged by the president of the National Chiefs of Police organization, along with a host of  Police Benevolent Associations from various parts of the country, all who publically spoke out in support of the Cambridge police sergeant. You may also recall that Obama quickly caved in to this widely publicized police push-back and tamped the issue down by calling for the now famous “beer summit” in the White House garden between the Cambridge cop and Professor Gates with President Obama as host. One would have thought that Obama would had learned a lesson in dealing with political power centers in America, even though all of the national police organizations in total do not represent an organized national political power.

On the other hand the Catholic Church is an organized GLOBAL political power, and the Catholic Church has exercised significant political power in America ever since the potato famine in Ireland resulted in a huge wave of Irish immigrants coming to this country. The ability of the Catholic Church to withstand the devastating media coverage of the endless reports of the sexual exploits of predator priests while paying out billions of dollars in civil suits is in itself an irrefutable testament to the strength of the Catholic Church in America.
Obama faces a tough election not from the Republican candidates but from those pernicious voter suppression laws currently in place in over 30 plus states. Further, in 2008 Obama received strong support from Catholic voters, and in my view the issue of birth control in respect to the Health Care bill’s regulation and provisions was certainly a subject that should have been “kicked down the road” until after the presidential election. Now the White House has deal with the Catholic “Bishop’s hornet nest” created by the untimely introduction of the highly controversial birth control issue into the national conversation just 9 months before the presidential election.

Finally, Obama has inadvertently given the Republicans a CLUB that they can used to beat him over the head politically. It is an long established Republican tactic to introduce some controversial social issue as a wedge against those well publicized facts that silently argue against the Republican ideology of the moment. Back in 1988 when Michael Dukakis was running for president, the Republicans steamrolled Dukakis using the famous “Willie Horton Revolving Door” ad which accused then Governor Dukakis of being “soft on crime” because of his program which provided for early release of trustee convicts back into society.  In particular the Republicans accused Dukakis of putting violent criminals back on the street. Likewise when John Kerry ran for President on the Democratic ticket, the Republicans sunk the Kerry campaign with lies about his military service as a swift boat commander during the Vietnam War. Their video ad attack was so extensive on this score that they created a new political word for this particular tactic, which is now widely known as “Swift boating”.

This time the Republicans did not have to dream up an election social wedge distraction. The Obama administration has given them one with a pretty brightly colored bow and wrapped up in the highly controversial discussion of “Religious Freedom” (at least that is the way that the Republicans have already framed it). The Obama Administration can count on every Republican talking point on this inflammatory issue to be echoed from the pulpits in Catholic Churches across this nation. Furthermore, the Obama surrogates that are out attempting to defend the White House over this current birth control/health insurance flap are inadvertently adding fuel to the Bishop’s Ire by constantly repeating the statistic that 98% of practicing Catholic women are actively using birth control already.

A word for the President, you can be 100% RIGHT and still lose the election if you are not reflective and analytically wise in your decisions.

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